“I think the simplest answer is to go to work ready to work hard.” Sierra Sanchez hits the nail on the head when she talks about her work ethic, current position with Pottery Barn and the impact that Academy of Art University has had on her career. As a member of the millennial generation, the digital space is not a foreign idea for Sanchez. With this, she has accumulated much success.
Sanchez, born in Phoenix, Ariz., works at the headquarters of the infamous Pottery Barn as their public relations coordinator. Tons of emails, team meetings and brainstorming are daily tasks and occurrences. She began working in May 2015 as a social media assistant before transitioning to the public relations team. “It’s such a different experience being on the public relations team, because instead of engaging with our fans, I am helping editors and producers incorporate Pottery Barn product in their publications and TV shows,” she said. After much preparation and research, Sanchez is fulfilled when she sees the company’s products successfully advertised to the public. To know that she had something to do with the background of it all is nothing less than a constant, personal motivation.
Social media has truly paved the way for endless creativity, a growing job market and general progression throughout our society. Sanchez grew attracted to it from a business aspect: she loves that it lets brands come to life. “Social media allows for opportunity and can give a voice to the otherwise voiceless,” she told me. Brands are engaging with their fans now more than ever in order to perfect their services or products. They are able to receive instant feedback from strangers who are familiar to that brand. There is such an importance in this idea according to Sanchez. “Since I am so new to the career world, my main goal is just to learn,” she said. “I work with so many wonderful and accomplished people that I want to make sure I pay attention to how they conduct meetings, their syntax and even how they dress.”
Academy of Art University alumna Sierra Sanchez. Courtesy of Sierra Sanchez.
Sanchez is no stranger to professionalism, however. She studied multimedia communications and fashion design at the Academy and played for the women’s golf team. She was elected president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) twice. As president, she organized two fundraisers for the Make-A-Wish foundation, raising an historic amount of money through the SAAC. “The Academy has shaped me in so many ways I could have never imagined,” she said. “These days you’re called to be a jack of all trades, in a sense. They want you to write, edit and produce anything and everything. My amazing teachers in the communications department made sure we had the skills to do all of that or at least teach ourselves how to figure it out. For that, I am incredibly thankful.”
Success is driven by hard work. In Sanchez’s world, this means setting out tasks and finishing them with enough time to spare so that she can go back, organize and start the next day with a clean slate. This personal operation increases her productivity. “It’s the smallest details that will help you develop the most,” she commented. Sanchez has a blog in which she shares the best social media practices entitled “ListLand.” Much of the content is very informative and entertaining. From learning about social media hacks to tips on using Twitter effectively, this blog lists out an online etiquette that Sanchez has portrayed in her various positions.
The transition from college into the real world, from student to career person and from internship to full-time position can seem long, but it is 100 percent worth it. Sanchez is a true example of steadfast positivity, discipline and hard work. She plans to stay in her role for a couple of years and eventually progress within the department. In the world of social media, the opportunities are endless. Sanchez, her success at Pottery Barn and previous related positions and her time at the Academy all acknowledge the democracy that social media has encouraged. “Your power and opportunity in the world just grew exponentially so I suggest you use it wisely!” Thanks for the incredible advice, Sierra.